For some people – perhaps even for you – increasing productivity is akin to finding the Holy Grail. Why has upping productivity taken on such mythical proportions?
Simply put, increasing productivity means increasing your earning potential. If you own a business where you provide any type of service, taking steps to increase your ability to deliver the service in less time will allow you to take on more clients and earn more money.
Likewise, if you sell a product, finding a way to make or deliver that product faster will enable you to serve more customers, once again, making more money.
When you find ways to do the same thing in less time, you’re being more efficient. Efficiency and productivity go hand in hand. Undoubtedly, the more efficient you can make the process of completing any task, the more productive you’ll be.
Use these two proven strategies to increase your efficiency so you can be more productive:
(1) Create a prioritized schedule for your work
Whether using a post-it note or a Microsoft Word file, almost everyone has some type of system for creating and editing the classic "to-do" list. These lists are sometimes a hodgepodge of ideas and tasks that need to be completed in the future and not-so-distant future.
There is nothing wrong with maintaining a to-do list, as it can make the difference between getting stuff done and going crazy trying to keep everything organized in your head. Still, the typical to-do list leaves much to be desired.
Unlike a conventional to-do list, have a prioritized schedule takes things a step further, allowing you to increase efficiency and productivity.
This is because prioritizing all of the tasks that you have in front of you while keeping track of a longer term picture of your schedule for weeks to come, will allow you to really figure out what is the most important thing that needs to be done right now.
If you are creating a prioritized schedule and realize that you have a best friend's wedding in two months, you'll be able to bump getting a dress or tux way down the list, while still making sure to place it somewhere on your schedule.
A prioritized schedule essentially puts things into perspective, allowing you to figure out what truly needs to get done this very moment and focus on that.
(2) Seek out and accept specialized help
Whether you run your own business or are a stay at home mom or dad, it will save you lots of time and energy at the start if you’re open to collaborating with others.
Bill Gates may be quite capable of developing all of the new programs needed to advance IBM as a company, while working with prospective clients in addition to handling customer service and PR. However, Mr. Gates and most other successful individuals would never be caught doing this.
No matter how much you can do by yourself, your resources are finitely limited by one single factor that trumps all others… your time.
So, rather than spend 8 hours a day answering phone calls, working on new products, shopping for groceries and cutting your own lawn, it may be a more productive use of your time to zero in on the one or two things that give you the most results for the amount of energy that you put into them.
For example, if developing a new product will eventually double the size of your business by being able to cater to an additional market or consumer demographic, then this is time well spent.
Paying someone else to answer phones, freeing up your time to be devoted towards projects that will give you more returns for your time invested is the sure sign of a future Fortune 500 executive at work. Combining this strategy with using a prioritized schedule will enable you to focus on what’s most important for you and get it done. Your productivity will soar!
Founder, The Natural Life Business Partnership
You’ve decided that you want to achieve a goal. You want to be successful. A plan is in place and you are creating the habits you need. Your plan includes possible stumbling points and you have identified ways to overcome them. That’s great you are setting yourself up for success. However, what do you do when the unexpected happens and an obstacle occurs that threatens to derail you and your plans?
There are certain things you can do when this happens.
First it is important that you remember that most obstacles that will happen are created by your own limiting beliefs.
Positive thinking is a key success habit in itself. If this is not already a habit of yours then you should consider creating this habit first as it is crucial for all other habits and goal completion. All successful people are positive. They know who they are, what they want and how to get there. They are also willing to work to achieve their goals.
While it’s quite natural to become stressed when something unexpected occurs it is important that you have planned for this eventuality and have strategies in place that can help you deal with it calmly. Staying calm and relaxed is crucial. Breathe deeply, focus on yourself and the moment. Tell yourself it is just a blip and you can cope with it. Remember, that one of the key factors for success is flexibility. You must be open to change. Even unexpected change!
Take time out to do something else if you can. Perhaps listen to calming music or take a walk. Exercise releases endorphins and makes you feel good. Consider doing meditation, yoga, tai chi or self-hypnosis.
You are in this for the end game. You are not a quitter as quitters don’t win. At the start of your journey to creating a new success habit create a positive affirmation to use for exactly a situation like this. That way when something unexpected happens you can use it to reinforce your determination and focus ensuring that you solve the problem and continue towards achieving your goal.
Actively Seek New Opportunities
When something happens that puts a wrench in the works and causes you to derail, take the opportunity to learn from it. Is there something that needs to change or be done to get your plans back on track?
Re-evaluating your plans and strategies along the way is an important part of goal setting. Remember your plans should not be rigid and nor should your end goal. Are you still on the right path or is there something that needs to be changed?
Whether you think of it as dreaming or visualizing keep your goal in sight. Your journey to creating success and new habits started with a dream and you need to keep that in your mind.
Visualize yourself living the life you are working to create. See yourself using your new success habits to help you plan and create a new future for yourself.
Remembering what you are working for will help you stay committed, focused and taking action.
There will be times on your journey to success that you stumble or fall. It is essential to remember that these are temporary set-backs. Your attitude towards how you deal with them will be the key to whether you succeed or fail.
Founder, The Natural Life Business Partnership
Why are some people successful while others are not? How can you predict if you or someone else will be successful? Each goal requires different skills and actions, so it’s difficult to create a list of attributes that covers every type of goal. Completing a marathon requires a different set of steps than writing a novel.
Here are some characteristics that help to make success more likely:
If you’re chasing after a goal, see how well your situation matches this list. It will give you a good idea if you can expect a positive outcome, or if some modifications need to be implemented to increase your odds of success. Next step is to develop the skills and attitude it takes for success.
How successful do you want to be?
If you feel the passion and desire about your dream business. You’ve gotten over the first hurdle. Now what’s next?
If you are new to the business world or lack the foundation you think you need check out the NLBP Overnight Business Intensive. It’s been reviewed as “being fed information through a fire hose!” If you feel you are in a good place in your business but lack clarity or connection to your life’s purpose check out the NLBP Business at the Beach Retreat.
Success is defined differently to different people. If you feel stuck try my business retreats specifically designed for the heart-centered entrepreneur. The training is targeted on the problems and obstacles in your current brand and business to ensure you leave with momentum. It’s all about small group interaction, strategizing, and deploying a solid plan for your business.
I look forward to seeing you soon!
Camille L. Miller, MBA
Founder & Executive Director, The Natural Life Business Partnership
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